The Magician’s Gambit
The World is in turmoil. The old gods have disappeared, leaving the World’s most powerful mortals to strive to achieve immortality and take their place, which in turn leaves many mortal power vacuums to be fought over by those left behind.
The Story So Far…
About twenty years ago, a bunch of ass… erm… a band of adventurers won the Game of the Gods, a secret game played by the deities of The World to determine whether the Good or Evil deities would hold sway for the next thousand years. When these schmu… valiant heroes were asked which deities they chose, they chose neither Good nor Evil. So Caithyra, the Mother of All Deities declared the Game over for all time, and that the people of The World were ready to decide their destiny for themselves without interference from the Old Deities, including herself. For this, those brainless fuc… brave souls were rewarded. Yes, that’s right, they got a mo____fu____ing REWARD! FOR SENDING THE WORLD INTO CHAOS, THEY GOT A FREAKING REWARD! ANYTHING THEY FU____ING WANTED! ANYTHING! WHERE’S THE JUSTICE IN THAT, I ASK YOU! ONE OF THEM EVEN BECAME A FU____ING GOD!! A GOD! A MOTHERFU_____ING G…::THUD:: ::drag::
Sorry about that. It’s so hard to find good bards these days. We’ll see to it that he’s… taken care of. To continue…
Since the old gods left, The World has been in a state of flux as new gods rise and fall and mortal powers rise and fall with them. The plagues and famine caused by the previous thousand years of rule by the Evil deities are slowly fading, but has not been followed by years of plenty as would happen in the old days when the Good deities held sway. Many still struggle to survive in a suddenly wild world where magic is unreliable and the mighty are so caught up in their power struggles that monsters and criminals have been allowed to terrorize the people largely unchecked. Highly magical creatures such as pixies have begun to weaken and become somewhat unstable (more so that usual). Those with strong psionic abilities have also begun to notice those fading as well.
Of the sentient races, it is only now starting to become apparent that the rare crossbreeds among them who have been born since the fading of the old gods are no longer sterile, as it was before, but are able to breed and propagate their blended blood to a second generation. It is suspected that if this should continue, then new races may begin to emerge in future generations. Pixies, of course, remain unable to interbreed at all, due to their diminutive size and unique biology.
Speaking of pixies, in addition to weakening due to the weakening of magic, pixies now have another problem which is causing their population to diminish drastically. The newly risen Cult of Ishmael have taken it upon themselves to attempt to wipe out every last pixie they can find. It has gotten so bad that it is now very rare to find a pixie within a city, unless it should be in a cage. Most pixies, those that have survived, now live in small communities deep within wilderness areas where no one is likely to find them. Many of these communities have taken to making sure that anyone who does find them, or even comes near them, never returns so that the Cult of Ishmael will not hear of their location.
The churches and priests of the old gods are still around. They are now severely weakened, of course, but they can still manage just enough of a connection with their deities to gain some small power, but it is nowhere near the level of their former strength. The followers of the new gods that are arising are not much better off, since their gods are still new to their power and are nowhere near the strength of the old gods, but their strength is growing while the power coming from the old gods is weakening.
Most of the nations of the world are largely unchanged, though nearly all have begun to attempt to expand their borders or otherwise make grabs for power. One notable exception is Ostai, the nation of the Vaati. With the weakening of their psionic network, the Vaati have begun to pull back their borders and consolidate what they have so that their entire nation is now a relatively narrow stretch of land between their capital city of Vaa and the Great Library in the mountains to the southeast. The nation formerly known as Asgoth has been particularly aggressive in its expansion effort, and has renamed itself the Empire of New Senpol, after the ancient empire of which it was once a part. Also in the large section of the Esszdar continent that was once part of the old Senpol empire, two new nations have arisen: Asleon, a confederacy of smaller kingdoms who banded together to fight the advance of New Senpol, and Newhome, a colony of Safehome which arose shortly before the old gods left, though no one noticed that they were there until New Senpol started trying to expand in their direction. New Senpol has left Newhome largely alone, after only a few feints to test their (surprisingly strong) defenses so that they may concentrate on their war with Asleon, who they consider a larger threat than the peaceful halfling nation.